That is only a partial list of restrictions. According to various reports, there are others: Women are denied access to basic health care, but when they do get it, they cannot be treated by male doctors (this restriction extends to children); no exposed ankles, no laughing loudly or wearing shoes that make noise when they walk, no white socks, no makeup or nail polish. Women cannot use public taxis without being accompanied by male relatives, and they must use special female-only buses whose windows are draped with curtains so no one on the street can see the passengers. Failing to adhere to these rules leads to public beatings, whippings, verbal abuse and even death.
There's more, but I don't have the space. According to the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), the Taliban has also issued a general ban -- for both men and women -- on listening to music, watching movies, television and videos or celebrating the traditional new year. If you were given a non-Islamic name, you have to change it to an Islamic one. Certain games are banned, including kite flying. "Non-Muslim minorities must wear a badge or stitch a yellow cloth onto their clothing to differentiate them from the majority Muslim population," writes RAWA. Now what does that remind you of?
If the Taliban views things like exposed ankles and white socks as horrors offensive to their god, how do so-called infidels, whom they consider worthy of death, negotiate with them? If such twisted ideas are accepted as doctrine, what could the Taliban possibly give up in negotiations ... and in exchange for what? Furthermore, if we reach an agreement with them, how will we know they're even telling the truth?
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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